HP clearly wants to be a big player in the tablet space that was remodeled by the Apple iPad. They’ve said as much with every opportunity they got. They bought Palm primarily for WebOS, their mobile operating system. HP’s intentions for WebOS have been pretty clear since then: some smartphones, but mostly tablets and even other devices (WebOS printers?).
Rumor had it that HP’s WebOS-powered tablet would come out sometime next year, and may be called PalmPad.
Both of those things have now been confirmed by none other than Todd Bradley, HP’s personal device division chief.
The PalmPad will be available in stores early next year.
Bradley wants HP to hold 17% of the tablet market by 2013 and has said that he expects said market to grow to about $40 billion “in a few years”. Clearly, HP saw that there’s money to be made there.
And they just may do well. Their tablet will be the only one running WebOS (possibly WebOS 2.0), and in a world that emphasizes software and user experience a lot more than sheer hardware specs, their OS might be exactly the differentiating factor they need. By early 2011, the market will probably be flooded with many Android-based tablets, with only minor spec differences between them – a fact that may confuse consumers and drive them towards HP’s offering.
That remains to be seen, however, and there are still many things left unknown about this device. But, since now it has an officially-confirmed name, we’re probably on the way to finding those out as well over the next few months.
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